Social Media in 2015 – Collaboration Invitation

Social Media in 2015 – a collaborative review This post announces a collaborative review of social media research and it is also an open invitation for people and organisations to take part. Objective To examine and highlight the benefits that social media research can currently deliver. Overview The timeline will be: March: Declarations of interest April: Project creation May: Data collection June: Analysis and reporting The project is being organised by Ray Poynter and NewMR. The Project The topic of the research will be market/marketing research. The two core search terms will be ‘marketing research’ and ‘market research’ (and equivalents in other languages). The two business objectives are: Increase the use of MR (which is taken to include increasing the value of MR, increasing the number of situations where MR is used, and increasing the number of people using MR). Increasing the number of suitably qualified people who want to work in the market research industry/profession. The research questions are: What are the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats in the context of using MR for in decision making? What are the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunies, and Threats in the context of people wanting to work in MR? Where are most of […]

Marketing Research or Market Research? A unhelpful distinction

Once again I have heard of somebody claiming that there is a useful difference between the terms marketing research and market research. However, there is not a useful distinction between these two terms. The meaning of words is determined not by experts, universities, or trade bodies, but by usage. We might not always like the consequences of usage, but just like King Canute, we need to acknowledge that we can’t turn back the tide. Four schools of belief Amongst people who believe that market research and marketing research are different there are essentially four camps, all of which have plenty of members. The key point about these four camps is not which is right, the key point is that all four exist, all contain experts and important sources. The four camps are shown in the image below (click on it to enlarge it). Camp A: marketing research is a sub-set of market research These people say all of marketing research is part of market research, but market research also contains many aspects that are not about marketing, for example social research, political research, and usability. Camp B: market research is a sub-set of marketing research. This is the mirror image […]

Market Research in the Time of VUCA

VUCA is a term that we are going here a lot over the next few years, it is a term that goes to the heart of paradigm shifts in the world that require changes in how we deal with our world. These changes reach far beyond the sphere of market research, but they do impact market research and the way we try to help organisations make better decisions. VUCA stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. The term VUCA dates back to the 1990s and emerged from military vocabulary and has gained much wider usage following it being adopted by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book Antifragile. The key point being made is that the has been a fundamental shift away from a world that is largely predictable to one that that is less predictable, where black swans (unpredictable, major events) are more common, and where the world has moved from mediocristan (a world where the norm is the normal distribution) to extremistan (where the key events do not follow the distribution of the bell curve). What is a VUCA world? One great example of the changes wrought in a time of VUCA is the life expectancy of major companies. […]

What are the key MR Buzzwords for 2015?

In a recent NewMR LinkedIn conversation I asked what people thought the MR buzzwords for 2015 will be. This generated a great debate with 64 comments to date. This post is a review of the comments and some thoughts about the trends and emotions they reveal. A Wordle? Normally I am not a fan of word clouds, since they are simply counts of terms. However, in this case the source material was a set of words, so a Wordle seems like a good place to start (click on the Wordle in this post for a larger view of it). In order to produce the Wordle, I did some pre-processing of the words, for example: aligning the spelling (e.g. Behavioural and Behavioral), putting in some hyphens to keep words together (e.g. Internet-of-Things), and some essence drawing as in the different uses of the term automation. It’s not all about tech Perhaps the most interesting thing that jumps off the page is that the top term is not about technology, it is the term “Agile”. Other key terms that link to a non-technology focus include: Impact, Behavioural, Privacy, Authentic, Collaboration, Actionable, and Emotion. Observational Research Most of the technology-laden terms relate to […]

The problem of survivor bias in marketing and market research

Imagine that we’re looking at the sales data for 1000 new products launched in the last two years in the snack food market. Let’s assume that 100 of them have been market successes, and 900 have to some extent failed. When we look at the 100 ‘winners’, we see that 80 of them are low fat and/or low calorie, and just 20 were in the ‘normal’ calorie/fat range. We might look at the results and jump to the assumption that low fat/calorie products have a better chance to win than standard products. However we might be wrong, and if we are wrong the reason would be that we have succumbed to survivor bias. For example, if we looked more closely, we might see that of the 1000 new products, 900 were low fat and/or low calorie, and just 100 were in the normal range. This would show that a low calorie/fat product had a 1-in-9 chance of being a winner, but a regular product had a 1-in-5 chance of succeeding. Looking at just the winners in order to predict what factors determine the results is prone to survivor bias (also known as survivorship bias). We are looking at the survivors, […]

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Growth Hacking 101

“Growth hacking” is a new term for most in the marketing measurement space but a long held practice among the best marketers and product managers in Silicon Valley. Although market researchers today are awash with data, we rarely use it for the benefit of our own businesses. With traditional media fading and the onslaught of mass customization & niching on the web, marketing as we’ve known it for the past 100 years is in a stage of transition- which means we have to become more creative about how we market marketing research. As researchers, we often get so focused on solving the clients problem, digging into the data, or struggling to present our study results in a truly meaningful way that we neglect to give our businesses that same attention. We work IN our business so heavily that we forget to work ON our business. We push strategic planning aside, unless it’s on our client’s behalf. We don’t measure our own brand performance or marketing effectiveness. Instead of taking action we become reactionary. Success doesn’t just happen. My start-ups and business ventures haven’t been successful because I was lucky or the timing was right, but rather as the result of […]

Do you understand device agnostic research?

Most people seem to accept that about one-third of people who take online surveys are attempting to do so using a mobile device, mostly smartphones, tablets, and phablets. Consequently, the market research industry has started talking about the need to be ‘device agnostic’. The mobile agnostic spectrum The growth in the demand for device agnostic mobile research, and the growth in the number of people offering ‘device agnostic’ solutions has not resulted in a clear definition of what we mean by device agnostic. If we look at the various things people are doing with mobile market research, we see a spectrum: Mobile possible: every question will appear on the mobile device, all the words will be there, but it may look different on different devices, and the user may need to scroll left/right as well us up/down. At the software level, this means not using technologies that do not work on mobile (e.g. Flash). At the design level this term means very little, it includes surveys with long questions, long answer lists, and which last for more than 20 minutes. Mobile friendly: every question appears in a relatively convenient format. Images fit on the screen, left/right scrolling is eliminated, and […]